Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Labor Day Weekend Camping at Woodyz Acres

lake for fishing

soaking up the sun

So, I'm a few days late.  Okay, a lot of days late.  But I'm gonna post my camping pics anyway. 

Labor Day weekend, Jason and I took our little pop-up and spent the weekend at Woodyz Acres in Missouri.  We were joined by some friends who had their own camper.

Won a free night stay playing Bingo

Woodyz Acres used to be Injun Joe back in the day.  The place was hoppin'.  Then something happened and it all went to the crapper.  The new owners have renamed the place and have been hard at work getting it back to a quality campground.  

Over Labor Day weekend, we cooked shark steak and beef stew over the fire, grilled lots of food, ate at a potluck with a bunch of other campers, watched movies, played Bingo, fished, and played putt-putt golf.

carry-in potluck lunch

Somehow I got Jason to wear coral shorts!

I'm pretty impressed with the way the campground's starting to look and it's become one of my new fave places to hang.

Alyla keeps us young!

Fall Under A Spooky Spell with Candlewick Press this Halloween - Book Set Giveaway

Malamander (The Legends of Eerie-on-Sea series)

By Thomas Taylor, illustrated by Tom Booth

9781536207224 | Ages 8 to 12

“Taylor assembles the sort of supporting cast that makes anything seem possible.”—Booklist

It’s winter in the town of Eerie-on-Sea, where the mist is thick and the salt spray is rattling the windows of the Grand Nautilus Hotel. Inside, young Herbert Lemon, Lost and Founder for the hotel, has an unexpected visitor. It seems that Violet Parma, a fearless girl around his age, lost her parents at the hotel when she was a baby, and she’s sure that the nervous Herbert is the only person who can help her find them. The trouble is, Violet is being pursued at that moment by a strange hook-handed man. And the town legend of the Malamander—a part-fish, part-human monster whose egg is said to make dreams come true—is rearing its scaly head. As various townspeople, some good-hearted, some nefarious, reveal themselves to be monster hunters on the sly, can Herbert and Violet elude them and discover what happened to Violet’s kin? This lighthearted, fantastical mystery, featuring black-and-white spot illustrations, kicks off a trilogy of fantasies set in the seaside town.

 Malamander, the launch title for a new middle grade series called Legends of Eerie-on-Sea, is now on MAJOR price promotion on Amazon - for a short time readers can purchase this brand new hardcover for UNDER TEN DOLLARS while the deal lasts.

It’s a perfect family and classroom read-aloud and great gift book for fans of Lemony Snicket, Greenglass House, and Percy Jackson – with the next book scheduled to release in early 2020.
For more activities, check out the draw your own sea-monster activity kit!

Ghost in the House

By Ammi-Joan Paquette, illustrated by Adam Record

9780763655297 | Ages 3 to 7

There’s a ghost in the house, In the creepy haunted house, On this dark spooky night all alone.

When a little ghost goes slip-sliding down the hallway, he suddenly hears...a groan! Turns out it’s only a friendly mummy, who shuffles along with the ghost, until they encounter...a monster! As the cautious explorers continue, they find a surprise at every turn—and add another adorably ghoulish friend to the count. But you’ll never guess who is the scariest creature in the house!

Boo! Watch out for this rollicking, cumulative counting book for a Halloween treat that’s more playful than scary.

Give Me Back My Bones

By Kim Norman, illustrated by Bob Kolar

9780763688417 | Ages 4 to 8

“Both macabre and cheery—a rare treat.”—Kirkus Reviews

Cast a spyglass ’round here
while breakers curl and pound here.
There’s treasure to be found here —
I feel it in my bones!

A stormy night at sea has uncovered some long-buried secrets and surprises. Is that the mast of a shipwreck? A faded pirate hat? And what’s that hiding in the sand? A mandible and a clavicle, phalanges and femurs, a tibia and a fibula—could there be a set of bones scattered across the ocean floor? And who might they belong to? A jaunty rhyme takes readers on an underwater scavenger hunt as a comical skeleton tries to put itself back together piece by piece. Make no bones about it: this rollicking read-aloud will have young ones learning anatomy without even realizing it.

A silly pirate skeleton seeks to put its bones back together in this rhyming romp beneath the waves.

Pick a Pumpkin

By Patricia Toht, illustrated by Jarvis

9781536207644 | Ages 3 to 7

“Charming picture book.”—Booklist

Pick a pumpkin from the patch. Tall and lean or short and fat. Vivid orange, ghostly white, or speckled green, might be just right.

Pairing a wonderfully rhythmic read-aloud text with expressive retro illustrations, author Patricia Toht and illustrator Jarvis capture all the excitement and familial feeling of a favorite holiday tradition. Readers will be happy to follow along with each step, from picking out the perfect specimen at the pumpkin patch (be sure to stop for cider and toffee apples) to carting it home, scooping out the insides, carving a scary face, and finally lighting a candle inside—savoring the familiar ritual of transforming an ordinary pumpkin into a one-of-a-kind glowing jack-o’-lantern.

The creators of Pick a Pine Tree are back with a joyful, energetic celebration of a Halloween tradition.

 The Little Grey Girl (The Wild Magic Trilogy, Book Two)

By Celine Kiernan

9781536201512 | Ages 9 to 12

The old queen and her raggedy witches have fled Witches Borough, and Mup’s family has moved into the cold, newly empty castle. But the queen’s legacy lingers in the fear and mistrust of her former subjects and in the memories that live in the castle’s very walls. While Mup’s mam tries to restore balance to a formerly oppressed world, Mup herself tries to settle into her strange new home with her dad, Tipper, and Crow. When an enchanted snow blankets the castle, Mup’s family is cut off from the rest of the kingdom, and the painful memories of the old queen’s victims begin to take form, thanks to a ghost whose power may be too much for even Mup and Mam to handle. Celine Kiernan weaves a timely and essential truth into the second book of her trilogy: that dismantling oppression means honoring the pains of the past, and perhaps the most potent magic of all is encouraging joy and hope wherever possible.

In the second book of the Wild Magic trilogy, courageous young Mup and her family are trying to heal and restore the kingdom when they uncover an ancient and powerful anger.

Joe Quinn’s Poltergeist

By David Almond, illustrated by Dave McKean

9781536201604 | Ages 12 and up

 “A keen collaboration moving seamlessly between worlds inner and outer, natural and supernatural.”—Kirkus Reviews

Joe Quinn has been telling everyone about the poltergeist in his house, but no one believes him. No one, that is, except Davie. Davie’s felt the inexplicable presence in the Quinns’ house and seen random objects fly through the air. And there’s something else . . . a memory of Davie’s beloved sister and a feeling deep down that it might just be possible for ghosts to exist. Full of thoughts of hauntings and grief and God, Davie hovers on a precipice of uncertainty and possibility, a space that storyteller David Almond occupies comfortably and returns to again and again—here paired once more with the dynamic, dreamlike mixed-media art of Dave McKean.

There’s a poltergeist in Joe Quinn’s house, and Davie is determined to discover its source in this lively, hopeful graphic storybook from David Almond and Dave McKean.

The Lost Coast

By Amy Rose Capetta

9781536200966 | Ages 14 and up

“This is a slow-burning, mystical, and romantic character study about the life-affirming magic of finding a place to belong after being lost for so long.”—Booklist

Danny didn’t know what she was looking for when she and her mother spread out a map of the United States and Danny put her finger down on Tempest, California. What she finds are the Grays: a group of friends who throw around terms like queer and witch like they’re ordinary and every day, though they feel like an earthquake to Danny. But Danny didn’t just find the Grays. They cast a spell that calls her halfway across the country, because she has something they need: she can bring back Imogen, the most powerful of the Grays, missing since the summer night she wandered into the woods alone. But before Danny can find Imogen, she finds a dead boy with a redwood branch through his heart. Something is very wrong amid the trees and fog of the Lost Coast, and whatever it is, it can kill. Lush, eerie, and imaginative, Amy Rose Capetta’s tale overflows with the perils and power of discovery—and what it means to find your home, yourself, and your way forward.

The spellbinding tale of six queer witches forging their own paths, shrouded in the mist, magic, and secrets of the ancient California redwoods.

Win It!

One person will win all seven Candlewick Press books listed above.

*This is a Rafflecopter giveaway open to residents of the USA.*

I will receive products for review.  Please do your own research before purchasing products or using services.  Your opinions and results may differ.
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OOLY’s Monster Collection: An Alternative to Halloween Candy

Halloween is just two weeks away.  It doesn’t have to be the season for too much sugar or a time of panic over food allergies. OOLY’s Monster collection makes a great alternative to food treats! No need to worry about sugar overload or food allergies, with these cute Monster friends.

Monster Erasers (Set of 3) ($2.99) - Boo! Mistakes better be on the lookout because there are monsters out to get them! You can swap the scary jaws and arms of these Monster Erasers with the other ones to mix up their colors or to match your other stationery. Keep these colorful monsters near so they can keep their one, three and four eyes on the lookout for any errors.

 Monster Pencils ($4.99) - This pencil pack includes 12 No. 2 graphite pencils, each featuring the cutest monsters you’ve ever seen. With silly faces and fun colors, one of these monsters is bound to be your new best friend.

Monster Pals Writing Super Set ($48.99) - Introduce a special person in your life to some super cute monster friends with the Monster Pals Writing Super Set. This colorful set comes with a ton of monster themed school and stationery supplies and a fun scratch art kit to boot. It also comes pre-wrapped in a cute white box and blue bow for easy gift giving convenience.

Monster Erasers

Includes: set of 12 Monster Graphite Pencils, set of 4  Monster Gel Pens, set of 3 Monster Stacking Erasers, Monster 6 Click Multi Pen, set of 8 Pocket Pal Mini Notebooks, Monster ClickIt Eraser, 3-hole Mighty Pencil Sharpener, set of 6 Mini Monsters Scented Neon Highlighters, Monsters On A Roll, and a Scratch and Scribble Scratch Art Kit-Monster Pals.

I received products for review from OOLY.  The opinions within this post are of my own.  Please do your own research before purchasing products or using services.  Your opinions and results may differ.

Monday, October 14, 2019

Check It Out: Savings.com #ConnectWithPortal Giveaway

Win a Portal from Facebook!

Savings.com is giving away three 10" Portals from Facebook in the #ConnectWithPortal Giveaway.

Giveaway starts on Monday, October 14th at 12:00 AM PT
Giveaway ends on Friday, October 18th at 11:59 PM PT

Three (3) winners will receive a 10″ Portal from Facebook, valued at $179.00 each.

This post contains affiliate links.  Please do your own research before purchasing products or using services.  Your opinions and results may differ.

Welch’s® Mixed Fruit Halloween Fruit Snacks - Review

My nieces and nephews know that aunt Terra's house is a place for delicious treats.  I keep a variety on hand.  From time to time I purchase Welch's Fruit Snacks.  They're convenient pre-packaged snacks that can be taken right out of the box and eaten immediately.   They are fat-free, gluten-free, and preservative free.

With Halloween being one of my favorite times of the year, I'm excited about Welch’s® Mixed Fruit Halloween Fruit Snacks.  Made specifically for Halloween, Welch’s offers fruit snacks in fun and festive shapes like bats, witches, ghosts, haunted castles, and pumpkins.

Welch’s Fruit Snacks Halloween-themed box and pouch have custom graphics with fun shapes– perfect for trick or treating, lunchbox treats or parties.  Not only can I be the "cool aunt" when I hand these festive snacks out to the little ones in my family as a snack, I will also be the "cool lady on the block" when I hand them out to trick-or-treaters.

Available at Walmart, Target, Dollar General, Walgreens, CVS, Kroger and other local retailers. (MSRP: $4.49 28ct box; $7.99-$9.99 85ct box)

I received products for review.  The opinions within this post are of my own and I was not influenced in any way.  Please do your own research before purchasing products or using services.  Your opinions and results may differ.

Friday, October 11, 2019

Check It Out: Dylan's Candy Bar Gingerbread House Decorating Contest

Dylan's Candy Bar Gingerbread House Contest
Dylan's Candy Bar is hosting a Gingerbread House Decorating Contest.  Their preassembled Gingerbread House Kit means all you have to do is decorate to WIN! Here's how it works:

* Purchase thier preassembled Gingerbread House Kit at www.DylansCandyBar.com
* Decorate your dream house with the whole family, friends, or on your own
* Snap a pic and tag them on social media @dylanscandybar and #HouseofSweets
* On December 16th, they'll announce the winner in Instagram stories
* The winner claims a ginormous 7-stack tower of holiday candy from Dylan's Candy Bar!

You can see the full contest details and purchase your kit right here.

*This post contains affiliate links.  Please do your own research before purchasing products or using services.  Your opinions and results may differ.

Animal Skins - Children's Book Review and Giveaway

Book Overview:

Fur, feathers and scales are all animal coverings or skins. Animals use their skin to stay warm and dry, protect themselves or hide or even to warn other animals to stay away. Following Animal Noses, Animal Tails, Animal Eyes, Animal Mouths (NSTA/CBC Outstanding Trade Science Award), and Animal Legs, Mary Holland continues her photographic Animal Anatomy and Adaptations series by the many different ways that animals use and rely on their skin covering adaptations to survive in their habitats.

Written by Mary Holland
32 pg, 8.5 x 10, Ages 5-9, Grades 1-4

My Review:

With realistic photos of what skin look like from a variance of animals, Animal Skins educates young readers on the function of skin and how they benefit different animals.  For instance, readers learn that a young deer (or fawn) have no scent for the first few days after they are born.  Their white spots also help them blend in to the woods and fields so they won't be noticed..  Other animals and critters featured include skunks, birds, porcupines, and more.

The 'For Creative Minds' section in the back of the book further educates and gets children excited to know more about animal skin.  There's a matching game, how animals use their skins, info on special skins, and how animals are classified by their skin covering.

Animal Skins is a Fall 2019 release by Arbordale Publishing.

Win It!

One person will win an Animal Skins children's book.

*This is a Rafflecopter giveaway open to residents of the USA.*

I received book for review from Arbordale Publishing.  The opinions within this post are of my own and I was not influenced in any way.  Please do your own research before purchasing products or using services.  Your opinions and results may differ.

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Peanut Butter Pine Cone Bird Feeder - Craft

Side story:  This is my niece who I haven't seen in almost four years.  She happened to be at the Special Needs Open House with her group home.  Made my day!

Back in August, I volunteered at a Special Needs Open House at our church's camp.  Me and a couple other gals were in charge of the craft.  We went with a peanut butter pine cone bird feeder.  They're so easy to make, and make your feathered friends happy.

All you need are pine cones with twine super glued on as hangers.  If you're doing just a few at a time, you can heat the peanut butter up in a microwave.  If you're making quite a few, heat the peanut butter up in crock pots.  

Take a pine cone and roll it around until it's entirely coated in peanut butter.  Then do the same with wild bird seed.  Let dry, then hang on a tree.

Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Annual Howl-O-Ween Blog Hop - McDonald's Gift Card Giveaway

Welcome to the annual Howl-o-Ween Hop, hosted by The Mommy Island and The Kids Did It.  Several blogs are hosting their own giveaways.  After entering mine, check out the others.

I am giving away a $10 McDonald's Gift Card to one lucky winner.

Win It!

One person will win a $10 McDonald's gift card.
*This is a Rafflecopter giveaway open to residents of the USA.*
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, October 7, 2019

Meet Our New Fur Baby...Green Bean

I have two cats that I love dearly and a dog that I like sometimes.  I had been asking Jason for another cat and he kept denying me.  He rarely says no, so I gave up on the idea.

Whatever stick he had up his butt came out the other day.  Jason made arrangements with a friend to get one of her kitties as an anniversary gift to me.

Y'all, I'm smitten by this kitten!  He's so full of spunk and I could watch him play all day.  
Green Bean is the name and cuteness is his game.

Why the name?  Well, why not!
It popped in my head and stuck.

First Winners for October

A few of my giveaways have ended and the winners have been randomly drawn.

The winner of the Everyone In LA Is An Asshole paperback book giveaway is #3, Nancy Payette.

The winner of the NFL Grilling Apron giveaway is #20, iggysaysno.

The winner of the Traffic Cop children's game giveaway is #32, LeAnn Harbert.

The winner of the Miss Olive Finds Her Furever Home book giveaway is #21, Natalie.

The winner of the AKA (Also Known As) game giveaway is #20, Sharon Schoepe.

Congrats to the winners and thanks to all who entered.  Be sure to keep an eye out for active giveaways I've got going on.  There's no limit to how many you can enter or how many you can win.

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

TVStoreOnline.com Is Your Resource For Halloween - Review and Giveaway

 With Halloween right around the corner, you're more than likely looking for a costume to suit you or someone in your family.  TVStoreOnline.com has a huge selection of Halloween costumes available in sizes for kids and adults. 

TV Store Online feeds your TV and movie obsession with its classic TV and movie shirts and memorabilia. You'd be hard pressed not to find a shirt or memorabilia featuring one of your favorite shows or movies.  I've received pajamas and sweaters from the company and have been nothing but impressed.  The Detroit-based movie, television, and comic book apparel and costume company has been seen on Good Morning America, Live with Kelly and Ryan, The Today Show, and The Ellen Show.

I usually dress up during Halloween.  It's one of my favorite times of the year.  I received the Women's Cozy Lady Bat Costume from TVStoreOnline.com because I was attracted to the detailed hood and bat wings.   I ordered the hoodie in size XXL, thinking it would provide plenty of room.  This one in particular was a little snug and fit more like a large.  Other than that, it's a high-quality hoodie-type costume.

Made of 100% polyester, this costume has a full zipper front and is made to be worn like a short dress or a hoodie.  You can slip it over your head or put it on like a jacket.  The hoodie is lined with bat ears and fake fur.  When you spread your hands out, it looks like your a bat with a large wing span.  The costume is very comfy and cozy, and can be worn with our without pants (depending on your desired look).

Go batty this Halloween and get your costumes and accessories from TV Store Online!

Win It!

One person will win a Halloween costume or accessory of choice from TVStoreOnline.com.

*This is a Rafflecopter giveaway open to residents of the USA.*

I received product for review.  The opinions within this post are of my own and I was not influenced in any way.  Please do your own research before purchasing products or using services.  Your opinions and results may differ.

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The Budding Artist Paint Party

As part of fundraising for my upcoming Cambodia mission trip, I helped others in my group organize a wood board paint party at The Budding Artist.  Along with the painting portion of the night, we also had a bake sale and silent auction.  My daughter and bestie came down to be a part of the party.

I personally didn't create a sunflower on a wooden board but put my two cents in :)
Afterwards, I spent the night at Alaina's house for a girl's night.  Good times!

me and Shelby

Have you ever attended a paint party?
Do you consider yourself to be artistic?

Thursday, September 26, 2019

Power of Prayer Thursdays - Week 187


I believe in a God that hears prayers and answers them. I've witnessed the miraculous gift of answered prayer. And, I want to pray for you. I've started weekly Power of Prayer post every Thursday. We are now on week 187. If you are needing prayer in an area of your life, please leave a comment and I'll commit to pray for your need or request. You can be as general or as specific as you like. Whether it be for healing, salvation, finances, emotions, or another area of life, I'd like to lift it up in prayer.

But God had mercy on me so that Christ Jesus could use me as a prime example of his great patience with even the worst sinners. Then others will realize that they, too, can believe in him and receive eternal life.
–1 Timothy 1:16

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Check It Out: Savings.com #OshKoshxCarters Giveaway

Win a $50 OshKosh B'Gosh or Carter's Gift Card!

Savings.com is giving away $500 in gift cards from Carter's & OshKosh B'gosh!  Giveaway ends on Monday, September 30th at 11:59 PM PT.  Ten (10) winners will receive a $50 gift card to Carter's or OshKosh B'gosh.

Enter coupon code BESTDEAL at checkout to get 25% discount on all orders at OshKosh B'gosh.  Deal ends September 30th.

This post contains affiliate links.  Please do your own research before purchasing products or using services.  Your opinions and results may differ.

Monday, September 23, 2019

Toy Story 4 Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack - Giveaway

Disney and Pixar’s Toy Story 4 Captures the Hearts of Fans Old & New
Coming to Homes Digitally Oct. 1st and on
Blu-ray™ and 4K UHD™ Oct. 8th

Extras include all-new deleted scenes, conversations with the talent and filmmakers sharing the most memorable moments and characters and much more!

In “Toy Story 4,” Woody (voice of Tom Hanks) has always been confident about his place in the world, and that his priority is taking care of his kid, whether that’s Andy or Bonnie. So, when Bonnie’s beloved new craft-project-turned-toy Forky (voice of Tony Hale) calls himself “trash,” Woody decides to teach Forky how to embrace being a toy. But a road-trip adventure, including an unexpected reunion with his long-lost friend Bo Peep (voice of Annie Potts), shows Woody how big the world can be for a toy. In addition, carnival prizes Ducky (voice of Keegan-Michael Key) and Bunny (voice of Jordan Peele) bring a new level of fun to the film.

The must-own, fourth installment in the Toy Story series will be packaged several ways to ensure families get the most out of their in-home entertainment experience. “Toy Story 4” arrives home a week early on Digital 4K Ultra HD™, HD and SD with two exclusive extras including a deleted scene, “Bonnie’s Playtime”.  A physical copy of the film is available as a 4K Ultra HD™ Combo Pack (4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray, and Digital Code), a Multi-Screen Edition (Blu-ray, DVD and Digital Code) and a single DVD. Fans who wish to relive all four Toy Story adventures may opt for a Digital bundle, which is available for pre-order.

BONUS FEATURES (may vary by retailer)
            Blu-ray & Digital:
'Toy Stories - The Toy Story 4 cast and crew share their love of toys!
Woody & Buzz - Take a look at the relationship between these two legendary characters.
Bo Rebooted - Discover how Team Bo reimagined all aspects of Bo Peep's identity to arrive at the fully realized character seen in the film.
Toy Box - Enjoy a collection of mini-docs on the film’s memorable new characters, featuring the voice actors, director Josh Cooley and Pixar artists talking about the many elements that make these characters fun and lovable
Let’s Ride With Ally Maki - Ally Maki, voice of Giggle McDimples, learns all about Pixar’s dialogue recording process from director Josh Cooley and his team.
Deleted Scenes introduced by director Josh Cooley including:
Scamming Playtime
Bo Knows Hippos
Desperate Toys
Recruit Duke
She’s The One
Audio Commentary, Trailers and more!
Digital Exclusive:
Anatomy of a Scene: Prologue - Filmmakers and crew review key scenes of the movie and dissect the practical and technological methods used to bring them to life.
Additional Deleted scene -  Bonnie’s Playtime

“Toy Story 4” Cast and Crew
“Toy Story 4” welcomes both veteran and new voices, including Tom Hanks as Woody, Tim Allen as Buzz Lightyear, Annie Potts as Bo Peep, Tony Hale as Forky, Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele as Ducky and Bunny, Madeleine McGraw as Bonnie, Christina Hendricks as Gabby Gabby, Keanu Reeves as Duke Caboom, Ally Maki as Giggle McDimples and Joan Cusack as Jessie. The voice cast also includes Jay Hernandez, Lori Alan, Bonnie Hunt, Kristen Schaal, Emily Davis, Wallace Shawn, John Ratzenberger, Blake Clark, the late Don Rickles and Estelle Harris.

“Toy Story 4” is directed by Josh Cooley, and produced by Mark Nielsen and Jonas Rivera. Andrew Stanton, Lee Unkrich and Pete Docter are executive producers, and Stanton and Stephany Folsom wrote the screenplay. Longtime “Toy Story” collaborator Randy Newman composed the score and wrote two new original songs, “I Can’t Let You Throw Yourself Away,” performed by Newman, and “The Ballad of the Lonesome Cowboy,” which is performed by Chris Stapleton for the end credits.

Win It!

One person will win a Toy Story 4 Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack.

*This is a Rafflecopter giveaway open to residents of the USA.*

I received no compensation for this post.  This post is in partnership with PR firm.  Please do your own research before purchasing products or using services.  Your opinions and results may differ.